With homestay culture flourishing, Airbnb is now as ubiquitous a name as Skype, Uber and Twitter. Hell, you can even use it as a verb; a surefire way it’s permeated the very soul of modern discourse. With all minds on this new wave of money making, perhaps you’re considering temporarily renting out your house? Who wouldn’t, right? If you want to secure those all important five star reviews and give your guests an immaculate experience, then here’s a good place to start; our 8 IDEAL tips for preparing your house for Airbnb guests.
Obviously, potential guests are aware that they’re booking a lived-in house and not a commercial hotel. So, while there’s no need to emulate a hotel room, with the clinical, beige approach they so often take, it is important to make sure you remove most of your personal items such as photographs, toothbrush and undergarments; no one wants to stumble across those. You want the guests to feel welcomed and ‘hosted’, and not like they’re encroaching on someone’s home and privacy. It’s a fine balancing act but one we’re sure you’re more than capable of.
DECLUTTER & DEEP CLEAN
It goes without saying that you must clean your house thoroughly before renting it, each and every time. If you don’t want nasty reviews and bad ratings for your property, then that clean needs to be deep and meaningful before every new guest.
Start by decluttering and putting everything in its right place. Next, thoroughly clean your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room and other areas, meticulously. First impressions count, and a half-hearted approach will be noticeable from the moment guests kick off their shoes and lay their bags down. If cleaning isn’t your forte (hell, it isn’t ours) then consider hiring a professional, like Thomas Cleaning, whose professional cleaners can quickly spruce up your space. You can charge the guests a nominal amount to offset cleaning expenses, as you’ll have often seen on your airbnb bill.
CHANNEL A SENSE OF HYGGE
Hey, we’ve all heard of the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ – a sense of cosiness and homeliness without clutter and fuss – right? Doesn’t this mantra perfectly encapsulate how your home should look and feel to paying guests? The presentation of your home heavily influences a person’s decision to book it, so make the hygge factor clear even from photos. Your place should be aesthetically pleasing if you want it to be chosen over hotel rooms. So, fresh flowers and plants, extra blankets, bedding and pillows, and those all important flickering candles all need to be present.
One can only really feel ‘at home’ when their stuff is packed away neatly and out of sight. The opposite is true when you’re dressing out of a messy, open suitcase each morning. Crucial, then, to empty out a section of your closet for your guests and make storage options ample and varied. If you don’t want guests to access your wardrobe, then think of some smart alternatives. For instance, you can put hooks on the back of doors, provide a laundry bag, install open shelves and place a clothing rail with hangers.
BLACK OUT BLINDS & HEAVY DUTY CURTAINS
If your house is located in a busy neighbourhood (note: probably one of the reasons guests choose you) then consider installing blackout blinds or heavy-duty curtains; essential when streetlights are blazing and music blaring. After a day of travelling and traversing, your guests will appreciate the extra hours of sleep. Your house is ultimately there to provide that.
LOCK AWAY YOUR VALUABLES
When you’re listing your house on Airbnb, you are essentially inviting strangers to spend time in your house without you being present. But we’re sure you knew that already, right? The first few times you host, though, the experience may feel a little uncomfortable for you. Ease that sense of unease by making sure that before guests arrive, you’ve removed and safely stored all your valuable items. Cherished possessions like jewellery or essential items like private documents, devices and so on should either be kept in a safe or in an off-site storage facility. Of course, a certain amount of trust is required for the whole airbnb thing to work, but this is a good way to add a little blanket of security.
PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR GUEST’S SHOES
Not literally of course; they’d be pretty pissed off if they found you wearing them. Nope, we mean you should view your own property through the eyes of your guest. Not literally of course, they’d be pretty pissed off if you tried wearing their….okay, we’ll stop now.
But you should attempt the whole experience with a paying customer’s viewpoint in mind. Enter your gaff, imagine being laden with bags. Is there somewhere to put them down naturally and easily upon first arrival? Is there a shoe rack for easy kicking off of creps? Is a wifi password clearly visible once all the unravelling is done? Does the shower function with ease? Are spare towels simply located? Ask yourself all these questions from a guests’ perspective; they’ll thank you for it with that sterling first review you’re courting. The rest writes itself.
CREATE A GUIDEBOOK
Create your own guidebook to the city, complete with insider tips for your guests to enjoy. Suggest the best local spots for a drink, somewhere where your guests can expeirence the local cuisine in a local setting. Include hacks on how to get around the city and any other useful information that will make your guests stay easier and special.
If you’re hosting friends and family for parties rather than paying guests, then read our article on 5 IDEAL ways to turn your house into a haven for hosting.